Wildflower Time In Israel

– Posted in: Garden Adventures, Garden Plants

Gardening in Israel: By the time June comes along, you might as well call it a wrap….except for the once in a while deadheading, pruning (which I’m always a bit shocked at how vigorously it’s done throughout the summer here) and making sure that watering systems are intact.

From mid-winter until mid-spring, the blooms are lush, the grass is green and the rains are ‘gifts from the Gods’. Cities and suburbs are flush with flowers while the wildflowers sweep the landscape with utter simplicity and magnificence.

Because of Israel’s geographical location at the junction of three continents, it has a wide diversity of plants; 2600 plus types and over 135 varieties of butterflies. Alpine species sweep the northern mountain slopes while Saharan species thrive in the south. Some common winter/spring wildflowers are cyclamens, anemones, blue lupines, yellow corn marigolds, poppies, and echinops.

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Galilee-42209-erigeron up close

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 The 2 photos below: fallow land and dunes leading to the sea abutting a major highway about 2 miles from Tel Aviv

Wildflower meadows and eco-artist's house on beach-40209 058

Wildflower meadows and eco-artist's house on beach-40209 063

Although I row several times a week on a section of the Hayarkon River close to the center of the city (the largest river in Israel…27.5 km), I had never been to this section of the park. The photos below were taken at Jarisa Mound where the remnants of a working mill which consisted of 11 pairs of gristmills are still intact.

“Several examinations carried out at the site revealed that an ancient market was operating nearby the mill. Scattered over the site are the remains of 3 gristmills from the 19th century. Those gristmills were built over the remains of an older building. An older mill from the Ottoman Period was operating at the site as well. It’s possible that the mills were operating at the site already during the Roman Period. A dam, later used as a base for the construction of a more modern one, was built on the river. Today it functions as a passage between the two banks of the river. The site is called “Sheva Tachanot” (Seven Mills in English) due to the fact that one of the buildings contained seven grinding facilities. The site was active until the beginning of the 1940’s. Examinations regarding the preservation status and the revealing of the remains belonging to the mills, which were covered by mud and soil as a result of floods over the years, were carried out in 2001. A plan to excavate the remains and reconstruct buildings at the site in the future have been finalized.”

** COURTESY OF: Tel Aviv Info.





For those of you who have been too timid to allocate an unused area of your back or side yard for a wildflower meadow, I hope these photos will give you the courage and inspiration to do it. And for those of you who dare, how about getting rid of the grass in your front yard and creating a wildflower meadow that will rock the neighborhood? What could be more fun, playful, beautiful and great for the environment?  Don’t you think it’s time to shake up the status quo of  the American public’s obsession with neatly coiffed front yards and manicured lawns?

Note: A good source for a wide range of meadow mixes and native plants is Prairie Natives.

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at www.fransorin.com.

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Fran Sorin
5 comments… add one

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lifeshighway April 12, 2011, 7:23 am

I love a wildflower meadow. To do it correctly in this area, requires a burn as the pine tree propagate very quickly in most areas. In fact, the burn also keeps the small scrubby hardwoods from coming up, interfering the with natural pine forest.

People who live in the midwest of the US, are leaning more and more to returning to the natural meadow lands.

Thank you for sharing. I agree with you, the unnatural manicured lawn is a waste of water and resources.

I say ‘bring it on’. The more meadows, the merrier. Fran

David C. April 12, 2011, 8:05 am

Looks like Israel was “eucalyptized” as badly as southern California. But your open areas – NICE! Glad someone else got some rain this winter…

You are helping make a point that I need to visit Israel and the Middle East to check out all the great natural areas and constructed landscapes.

Hi David,
There are definite similarities between New Mexico and Israel in the ‘feel of the land’….
From reading your blog, my hunch is that you would find this part of the world and its natural landscape inspirational~ Fran

Elephant's Eye April 12, 2011, 3:34 pm

The eucalyptus rules in the Western Cape too. When you drive thru farmlands that row of trees, on the horizon, along the road to the farmhouse, between the fields – Eu ca lyp tus!

When I first started visiting Israel years ago, I thought they were gorgeous…having never seen them before. But everyday when I walk through the park near my house and see dozens of them, I silently say ‘water suckers’. Fran

carolyn mullet April 12, 2011, 4:24 pm

Who knew Israel could be so colorful? Wonderful photos. So enlightening.


Although much of the country is extremely dry and much of it is desert, in late winter- through Spring, Israel is flush with color! Fran

Thomas April 13, 2011, 8:37 am

I love photos that make dry look beautiful. These do just that.

For Israel, this time of year is lush. Am glad you enjoyed. Fran

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